BHP Billiton has suspended operations at its Ravensthorpe Nickel mine in Western Australia, resulting in the loss of more than 1800 jobs.
Eight hundred employees and 1000 contractors will be made redundant by June this year.
The decision to suspend operations came as no shock to market analysts who had predicted falling nickel prices would affect the day to day running of the mine.
BHP Billiton said the decision was the result of the ‘diminished prospects for profitability of Ravensthorpe and Yabulu in the current environment as well as significant and continuing deterioration in the outlook for the nickel market.’
Stainless Steel Materials President Jimmy Wilson said BHP will also cut another 300 staff from its Mount Keith operation as it reduces production.
“We fully understand the impact that today’s announcement has on our employees, contractors and their families. We will continue our usual practice of maximising internal re-deployment opportunities,” Wilson said.
“We also recognise that the local communities will have concerns about how this will impact them. We will honour any agreements we have made and continue to keep the communities updated throughout this process.”